February 2012

I had one of those decisions to make yesterday. You know the ones, the difficult ones that come with the experience of cancer. And there are many of them, aren’t there?!

 I found myself once again between a rock and a hard place. I am considering breast reconstruction. It’s a personal preference. But I am having trouble resolving the fact that to have a breast reconstructed, I must go through major surgery that compromises a perfectly good region of my body – a donor site – by removing muscle, fat and skin tissue from which to reconstruct my breast. It seems I must swap one scar for another. So I am faced with a choice to live as I am now shaped, which is okay but not ideal or to damage myself more for cosmetic and psychological gain which is also desirable.

 That still small voice inside of me wouldn’t settle. And it has guided me well on this journey. I went as far as making the appointment but knew in my heart that it was not for me. So last night I searched the internet to learn of other people’s experiences to understand the possible ramifications of surgery down the track. And then I found it, a little known option that offers the best of both worlds. Reconstruction with minimal damage. Isn’t it amazing how that inner voice can guide us.

 This morning I cancelled the surgery. To be true to myself there must be another way and I am prepared to give myself the time to find out more. My inner voice has been there helping me make the difficult decisions throughout this whole experience. And sometimes I wonder how different things would have been if I hadn’t stopped to listen…

Have you ever thought about the language we use around cancer? Today I heard myself telling a colleague ‘I lost my breast’. Well if I lost it, you’d think there would be a possibility that I might find it. If only it were that easy! (more…)

How often do we hear that someone is ‘fighting cancer’ or ‘battling cancer’. Catch cries such as ‘Together we can beat cancer’ are routinely used to fundraise for research and support services. This in itself, is not such a bad thing. However if people experiencing cancer take on the notion that they must fight this disease they can burn up a lot of energy that could be otherwise directed toward healing. Science shows us we cannot fight and heal at the same time. The ‘fight or flight’ response precludes ‘rest and repair’. (more…)